Week 7: Representation in the Media: Unit 4

In this post I am going to look into the ways that different groups of people are portrayed in film and also look into positive representations of some of these groups.


How people are portrayed in the media:

  • Stereotypes
  • Positive or negative


Hegemonic principle

Examples of positive representations of different groups in film.

Race – Jurassic World, East Enders, Coronation street, Skins, The Avengers

Sexual orientation – Skins, Coronation street, Emmerdale, Brooklyn nine nine, Glee

Disability – Breaking Bad, Glee, Bad Education, Covert Affairs

Age – Glee, Taken, RED


In Brooklyn nine nine the Captain of the team is both gay and black, this shows a positive representation of both race and sexual orientation. A big racial stereotype is that black people tend to be the bad guy which isn’t true and isn’t the case in this programme as he is in the Captain of a police station.



In Forrest Gump (1994) there is a debate whether Tom Hanks’s character Forrest Gump actually has a disability, however he is said to be slow as he has a lower than average IQ. His disability doesn’t effect the story apart from making his character silly as the genre of a film is comedy. Overall it is a positive representation as it shows that he is a nice person and it doesn’t make a difference whether he has a disability or not by not making it clear.

aaron twd

In the programme The Walking Dead there is a character called Aaron who is gay, it has no relevance to the story and isn’t revealed until a while after the character is introduced. It shows a good representation of them as no one is offended by this or discriminating him for it.


This work was interesting because as a class we found it surprisingly difficult to find a positive representation of minorities such as race, disability etc. but once I found a few it was clear there are a lot of examples. 





Week 7: Representation in the Media: Unit 4

Week 6: Introduction to Narrative: Unit 4

For this blog I am going to choose scenes from films and explain how they use certain techniques to tell the story.

The techniques that some may use are below:

Narrative – The Story/How it is told (conveys meaning) =

  • Semiology (props, locations, body language)
  • Genre (expectations)
  • Mise-en-scene
  • Technology (lighting, camera work, audio, special effects)
  • Narrative techniques (voiceover, idents)
  • Narrative techniques (Structures) = Open narrative: finished on cliff hanger, Closed narrative: finished with the end, Single stranded: one main story, multi stranded: lots of stories, Realistic: feels normal, non-realistic: everything else, linear: chronological a-b-c, non-linear: not in order c-b-a, flashbacks

– The Usual Suspects (1995)

This is the ending scene from The Usual Suspects, it has an amazing plot twist where the character we believed to be the victim actually turns out to be villain we were looking for the whole time. The use of Semiology incredibly clever, the main character Rodger ‘Verbal’ Kint is believed to have a physical disability throughout the whole film. All the other characters refer to him as the cripple and this shows he is powerless and not feared. But it begins to click that he is the villain all along once he is released from custody then begins to stretch and walk away perfectly. Another thing that adds to this is the voiceover, it a police officer thinking over everything that Roger told him and realizing that all it was lies.



– Pulp Fiction (1994)

This scene is from Pulp Fiction it uses both the structure multi stranded and the use of flash forward. During this scene the character Butch kills another main character in the story who is Vince, however they show this in the middle of the film and we continue to see Vince throughout the rest of the film. This is because there are two sub stories within the main story, one that follows Butch and one that follows Vince and his partner Jules. During this scene we are following Butch so this explains why we continue to see Vince after his death as we then switch to his story.


There are reasons the film is made the way they are an I found this interesting to research, I feel that I have a better understanding of all the techniques such as voice overs and how to use them for my own productions in the future.

Week 6: Introduction to Narrative: Unit 4

Week 5: Sound and meaning; an analysis: Unit 4

For this post I’m going to pick a scene from a film were the sound used conveys meaning, I’m going to explain why and how they have used that certain techniques over anything else. I’m also going to describe the use of Semiology, Genre, and mise-on-scene in the scene and how the sound relates to all three techniques.



The film scene I have chose for this post is the amputation scene from 127 hours (07 Jan 2011). This film follows a man after a boulder falls onto his arm trapping him in a canyon in Utah, there is no civilisation near by and he’s been trapped for almost five days and is forced to take action in order to survive.

It starts fairly quiet apart from some low music. By having no background noise it shows that he is isolated from any kind of civilisation, he is alone and relying on himself to survive. The character is quiet and calm which could suggest he is concentrating and you as a viewer can understand what he is thinking and what he is about to do. The mise-en-scene also supports this idea as the character is staring back and forth between his knife and his trapped arm, he also seems skeptical over what he’s about to do however understands that this is the only thing he can do to escape.

The music fits the theme of the film which is Thriller, however it is also slow paced which fits perfectly with what’s on screen as the character may be starting to get drowsy because of the pain and the loss of blood. I also think the music represents determination as he’s gone this far and there’s no going back, he needs to do this if he is going to survive and he understands that.

Then when he tries to cut something in his arm a sound plays every time he touches it, it’s an intense, alarming screech which suggests its a nerve as that is a very painful and sensitive thing. It is similar to the game operation as when you touch something wrong it makes a really horrific sound. Once he cuts the nerve the noise plays for longer and is the only thing we can hear, this shows he is in unimaginable pain and could be on the verge of passing out.

Towards the end the determined music starts playing louder, this suggest he is at the end of the fight and has got to continue for a little longer. As well as the music playing louder the mise-en-scene also plays a big part in showing determination as we see a hallucination of what could be the characters son which drives the character to complete his task. Then once he is free the music cuts quickly which could show relief that the hard part is over and that he is going home. As a viewer this is a horrific scene to watch, but what makes it worse is the genre which is that its a Biography which makes people feel bad for the person who went through it who was Aron Ralston.

The sound in this scene does a really good job of describing what it would have been like to be in that situation and works well with the Mise-en-scene to create a immersive scene. 

Week 5: Sound and meaning; an analysis: Unit 4

Week 4: Introduction to mise-en-scene: unit 4

For this piece of work I am going to explain Mise-en-scene, how it works and how much someone can interpret from it.


Mise-en-scene is everything seen on-screen, the viewer translates this and creates ideas about the character or location. If the characters bedroom is really untidy, then you would think that the character is untidy as well. Another example is if the furniture is breaking then you would come to believe maybe the character can’t afford to fix them.

These are the examples of things that would come under mise-en-scene:

  • Costumes, hair, props
  • Locations, props
  • Body language: direction
  • Technology – Lighting, Sound (diegetic)
  • Placing of actors


This is the analysis of mise-en-scene in The Pursuit of Happiness. This scene uses mise-en-scene well it shows that the two characters are in a bad situation as they are in a bath room and they have things that look like personal belongings with them. You can tell that’s were they are because of the floor tiling and a sink which is generally used in bathrooms. There is a lot in this seen which shows they are not homeless such as the adult is wearing a suit and also has one neatly hanging up. You can also tell there is a lot of love and compassion between the two character as the adult is holding the child and what looks like he’s trying to block out the surrounding by covering up his ears.

This is an analysis of mise-en-scene in Tropic Thunder. This also uses strong mise-en-scene to show what environment the characters are in, their both wearing uniforms and one is helping the other who is injured, however the relationship between these two characters are unknown therefore he could instead be trying to stab him. We can see that something is going on between them as they are gripping each others hand tightly. The background puts them in context and tells us that their in a war as there is also a helicopter with a man hanging from it holding a gun, but there is no way of telling the relationship between him and the pilot or him and the two characters in the foreground..


I learned what mise-en-scene is, how it is used, why it is used and what effect it has on the audience. I also learned how everything on screen works together to create the story and if you take one bit out it may change the whole scene.


Week 4: Introduction to mise-en-scene: unit 4

Week 3: Introduction to lighting: Unit 1

For this I am going to explain about three point lighting and how and why it is used. I will also talk about how our eyes see colour and how it works.


How our eyes see colour:

Our eyes can only see colour when there is light, when something is white it is because the object is reflecting all the colours from the light source. However when the object is black it means that it is absorbing all the colours being shone onto it. when something is a certain colour like red for example, the object is absorbing every colour except red therefore the object shows up red.

Three point lighting:

Three point lighting consists off three different positions lights however they can be the same light, the key light, fill light and the back light.

The key light is the main light generally the most powerful and it lights up the subjects face but has some down sides, when on its own and the camera is directly facing the subject it makes them look two-dimensional (2D) but even when you rotate the light there’s still a problem, it creates a shadow on the opposite side of the face. The key light is usually moved 45° left of the subject.

So to solve this problem we add a fill light which shines on the other side of the face. The fill light sorts out the shadows however light designers tend to have the fill light further away from the subject so one side of their face is a little darker than the other this is to define the face.

Finally we use a back light to light up the back of the subject, this separates the subject from the background and creates the illusion of depth. It also makes an outline around the subject which again brings them out from the background.


This was a good thing to learn as it is used in a lot of situation whiles filming, I feel comfident about using it myself in my own production and understand why it is used.

Week 3: Introduction to lighting: Unit 1

Week 3: Introduction to genre: Unit 4

In this post I am going to explain what Genre is and how it is used, i will give some examples and explain. I will also talk about a certain Genre which is completley different to the others which is Film Noir.


Genre: Genre means the type of film.

There are lots of genres of film such as:

  • Horror
  • Comedy
  • Thriller
  • Western
  • Action
  • Adventure
  • Rom-com
  • Documentary
  • Sci-Fi
  • Family

You can tell generally tell what genre it is based on the Narrative, Iconography, Mise-en-scene and the technical skills used. The Narrative will be completely different for a horror film than for a Romantic comedy, the stories related to horror films are scary, horrific, disgusting and tent to all be similar. The story of a horror usually involves a killer or something supernatural that is trying to cause harm to the main characters, you wouldn’t expect jokes unless it was a horror/comedy for example ‘Scary Movie’.

The Iconography are the object related to the genre of film. In the genre Western there are lots of things that tell you its a western, they have things like revolvers, horses, tumble weeds. Also look of the object make a big difference for example if a cowboys revolver is spotless silver rather than rusty metal it shows that he is rich and uses it often. Colour is used to differentiate bad from good, bad are associated with dark colours and the good are associated with light colours.

The technical skills are what type of light, editing or camerawork was used whether it was good rule of thirds or what shot types for example Westerns for example use a lot of extreme close-ups because that what they used when they first started years ago and are strongly associated to them now so continue to use them.

Film Noir:

Is a genre which is usually dark stories involving crooked cops, private detectives and anti hero’s and tends to take place in big American cities. They are shot with low lighting and use shadows as a tool and also framed with it. instead of using an extreme close up they shone light through blinds which highlighted the characters eyes covering everything else in shadows. They also used soft lighting to light up woman actresses faces to make them more attractive. This genre of film was first introduced during WWII times so made it important that the good guy always won, this was used as escapism from the harsh reality that the audience of that time had to live in as the cinema was the only chance to do this as no one had televisions.



This is a good example of the use of shadows to make someone menacing, the characters fedora creates a shadow over their face meaning that their identity is unknown.




The lesson on Film Noir was great, I enjoyed it and learned a lot about using lighting and shadows in a specific way to portray a characters feelings or personallity.

Week 3: Introduction to genre: Unit 4

Introduction to lighting – White balance

In this work I am going to explore the use of white balance, and I am going to produce primary images of each setting to show it each one.


We use White balance to alter the colours in the picture, if the environment is to bright then you could alter the White balance and choose a darker option.


Colour Temperature is a big part of it, if you was outside where is was more towards the blues you would use a white balance that add more orange and reds to even it out.




Daylight                                      Shade                                      Cloudy



Tungsten light                              White fluorescent                    Flash


Daylight                                        Shade                                    Cloudy


Tungsten light                             White fluorescent                      Flash


Daylight                                    Shade                                        Cloudy


Tungsten light                          White fluorescent                     Flash


I found it hard to understand how it works however I understand how to use it, I feel I could use it in my own projects if I need to but wouldn’t know how it was happening.

Introduction to lighting – White balance